Tue | May 26, 2020

Let’s shorten PEP, says new JTA boss

Published:Wednesday | August 21, 2019 | 12:26 AMAlbert Ferguson/Gleaner Writer


Owen Speid, newly invested president of the Jamaica Teachers’ Association (JTA), is recommending that the Primary Exit Profile (PEP) examination be administered over the course of a single week, instead of the existing arrangement, which sees it spanning three months.

“At the grade-six level, it may be better to have all the exams in one week. That is what I am hearing on the ground,” said Speid, while delivering his maiden presidential address following his installation on Monday evening at the JTA’s annual conference in Montego Bay.

“It is difficult to motivate them (students) after the first month into the second month, and then take them again and remotivate them to come to work hard again in the third month,” added Speid.

PEP is a series of tests, which was introduced last year, to replace the Grade Six Achievement Test as the national secondary-school placement examination.

Former Education Minister Ruel Reid said it was designed to provide a better and more complete profile of students’ academic and critical thinking capabilities at the end of their primary-school studies.

However, in addressing the delegates attending the 55th annual conference of the JTA, Speid is also recommending that a merger of aspects of PEP be considered as part of the realignment going forward.

“The depth of knowledge must match the level of the student development. Make the performance task section straight forward, and the items consist of fewer words. Merge the performance task with the curriculum-based test [at] all grade levels and ascribe the percentage scores for each section of the test,” Speid suggested.